Recent news

Welcome to the Summer 2024 labbies!

By PAMLabMay 24th, 2024in Students, Visitors, Welcome

Welcome to the four new students who will be joining the lab this summer:

  • Serena Agarwal (Brown U. '27) is a second-year undergraduate student at Brown University. She is interested in the intersection of Linguistics, Computer Science, and Neuroscience, and she is particularly interested in language acquisition, computational linguistics, and psycholinguistics.
  • Maryam Elbenni (Yale U. '26) is a rising third-year undergraduate at Yale University majoring in Cognitive Science, with a focus in linguistics. Her research interests include multilingual speech, L2 language acquisition, and natural language processing.
  • Jaiden (Mengan) Li (Andover High School '25) is a high school junior. She is interested in second language acquisition, East Asian languages (including lesser-known dialects like Hmong and Fukienese), and natural language processing.
  • Nick Tanner (UPenn '26) is a third-year student studying Linguistics and Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania. He's interested in the linguistics of American Sign Language and multilingualism.

And a warm welcome back to Jupitara, Felix, and Sara!

Awards for Kellogg, Kpogo, Ray

By PAMLabApril 17th, 2024in Awards, Congratulations, Grants, Students

Congratulations to PhD students Jackson Kellogg, Felix Kpogo, and Jupitara Ray on their recent awards and fellowships!

Kudos to all!

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Chang & Yao in CUP volume

By PAMLabJanuary 31st, 2024in Faculty, Publications

A paper entitled "An individual-differences perspective on variation in heritage Mandarin speakers" (Chang & Yao, 2024) has been published by Cambridge University Press in the book The Phonetics and Phonology of Heritage Languages (edited by Rajiv Rao).

Abstract: This chapter takes an individual-differences perspective on the dual sound systems of American heritage speakers (HSs) of Mandarin Chinese. Based on detailed sociodemographic data and production data on segmentals and suprasegmentals, we build holistic demographic and phonetic profiles for HSs, as well as native speakers and late learners, to explore how different aspects of their two languages (Mandarin, English) may develop in relation to each other and how individual variation in production may be related to socio-demographic factors. Using multiple factor analysis (MFA), we describe the range of these profiles, identify clusters of variation defined by different sociodemographic factors, and argue that some factors (e.g., age of arrival, language(s) spoken at home) have more predictive power for phonetic profiles than others. Overall, our results suggest a significant, if limited, link between socio-demographic factors and production, but only in Mandarin. We conclude by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of group-based and individual-centered approaches.

This study followed Open Science practices, and all materials, data, visualizations, and code are publicly accessible via the Open Science Framework at https://osf.io/u4w2g/.

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Congrats to UROP recipient Maddie Jin

By PAMLabJanuary 23rd, 2024in Awards, Congratulations, Grants, Students

Congratulations to sophomore Linguistics minor Madelyn (Maddie) Jin, who was awarded an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) grant to work on linguistics research in Spring 2024! Below is a brief description of the project she will be working on:

  • Maddie Jin: “The impact of speech rhythm in the production and perception of Asian-ness in American English”

In Spring 2024, Maddie will conduct an acoustic study of Asian Americans' interview speech in English to examine aspects of their speech rhythm and the degree to which there are differences with respect to English speakers of other ethnoracial backgrounds.

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Welcome to the Spring 2024 labbies!

By PAMLabJanuary 15th, 2024in Students, Visitors

Welcome to the seven new students who will be joining the lab this spring:

  • Jade Ling Garstang (BU GRS ’25) is a first-year MA student in Linguistics. She is interested in language variation, speech perception, and Asian languages, particularly indigenous ones like the Japanese Ryukyuan languages.
  • Madelyn (Maddie) Jin (CAS ’26) is a second-year student minoring in Linguistics and majoring in Computer Science. She is currently working on a UROP-funded project involving the speech rhythm of Asian-American English. Her broader interests include bilingualism, phonetics, and natural language processing.
  • Iliad Nazari is a third-year undergraduate student in Linguistics at the University of Minnesota. He is very interested in Central Asian languages. His research interests are in phonetics, language acquisition, and the psycholinguistics of multilingualism.
  • Jupitara Ray (GRS '25) is a fourth-year PhD student in Linguistics, broadly interested in phonetics and phonology, sociolinguistics, bi/multi-lingualism in the diasporic community, etc. A research fellow in the lab in Spring 2024, she is currently working on her dissertation prospectus on phonetic accommodation and drift of Indian English speakers in India and the US.
  • Liza Sulkin (GRS ’26) is a third-year PhD student in Linguistics. Her research interests include fast speech phenomena in Slavic languages, tongue twister production in native and non-native speakers and sociophonetics of lesbian speech. Currently, she is working on an acoustic analysis of lesbian women’s spontaneous speech to examine differences in production based on speakers’ self-described gender presentation.
  • Rebecca (Becca) Wheeler (BU GRS ’27) is a second-year PhD student in Linguistics completing a qualifying paper in the lab, tentatively entitled “Effect of non-native articulation rate on foreigner-directed speech production”.
  • Xuehan (Annie) Xie (BU GRS ’24) is a first-year MA student in Linguistics. Her interests encompass the intersection of language acquisition, bilingualism/multilingualism, Mandarin phonology, and syntax.

And a warm welcome back to Jason and Sara!